Alphabetized Haunts

June 13, 2017
By , Milwaukee, WI

Somewhere behind the curtains of my mind
Is a house that sits on stage left underneath a layer of dust camouflage
Fractured and mutilated, shaded by a beam of dusty light
Curtains nailed to the walls trying to keep you inside
Inside, the stairs are a broken nose
Floor lamps stand on the bed with the faded quilt
It is the fictional house where exist demons and spirits
Fictional otherwise it would be too scary
But sometimes, sitting in an empty movie theatre, it is scary
This is the house where you live
Shut in by the velvet walls of a tortured mind

I’ve written this poem 817 times without words
Partly asphyxiated
Tangled up in strings of
Before and after
Before was muddy soccer cleats and a forgotten teddy bear
After means the horror movie house
Perched on stage left of my mind
After is
Reading the entire 1998 Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary to find the right word
But all I could find was no that got stuck in the back of my throat
You twisting my spinal cord around my esophagus
Until I choke on all of the comebacks I spun up like cotton candy
Meant for cat callers and frat boys
Not for friends
Sometimes I wonder why I couldn’t just say it
No
No words for your hand on my thigh
No
No words for your slanted smile
No
No words for the space between my legs you thought you could full with your fingers
No
No words for the showers trying to detach my spoiled skin from my body
No
No words for every single one I have used to berate myself
No
Sl*t. Wh**e. Fake. Asking for it. Overreacting. Weak.
No
I am not afraid anymore
I canvas the dilapidated house with a flashlight and a pistol
Only to hear the screen door out back banging open
Now I am afraid






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